Sunday, July 6, 2008

General Information Travelling in Malaysia


In this post you will find some very interesting information about Malaysia. Actually got this information from a book. I am using it without any permission but it is used for something good so ask me if you want to use it.

::Malaysia Map::

333,000 sq. km. (of which 200,000 sq. km. lie within the states of Sabah and Sarawak).

20.15 million

Kuala Lumpur (A very beautiful place)

21c - 32c (generally warm in the day and cool in the night).

Parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch.

Accessible by air, sea and land. Excellent rail and road systems covering the length and breadth of the country.

Palm oil, petroleum, natural gas, rubber, timber and manufactured goods.

Official language - Bahasa Malaysia.
2nd language - English
Mandarin, Tamil, Hindi, Chinese and other vernaculars are widely used.

Multi-culture and multi-region (If you don't believe it, come and see for your self).


Visitors to Malaysia must be in possession of valid password / travel documents with a minimum validity of six months beyond the period of intended stay. In the case of a national passport not recognized by the Malaysia Government, the holder must be in possession of a document in lieu of password obtainable at the nearest Malaysia Mission abroad. The national passport holder must also ensure his re-entry into the country of his citizenship.

Airport Departure Tax
For international flights from Kuala Lumpur, the tax is RM 40 while for domestic departure the tax is RM 5.

(Travellers Declaration Form (TDF))
Foreign currencies can be changed at banks or authorized money-changers throughout the country Malaysian currency consists of the Ringgit Malaysia (RM) which is worth 100 cent. Coins are issued in denominations of 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents and RM1. Currency notes are in RM1, RM2, RM5, RM10, RM50 and RM100 denominations. Travellers cheques can be cashed at larger Malaysia banks.Money-changers as well as larger departmental stores and shopping complexes.

Credit Cards
Most establishments accept credit cards. Commonly accepted credit cards are American Express, Visa, Diners club and Master Card.

Aerogrammes cost 50 cents to all countries. Postcards and letters vary. Enquire at the Post Office.

Items such as video equipment, cameras, radio cassette players, watches, pens, lighters, perfumes and cosmetics are duty-free in Malaysia. Visitors bringing in dutiable goods may have to pay a deposit for temporary importation, refundable on departure.

Banks: 9.30am - 3.00pm (Mon to Fri)

9.30am - 11.30am (Sat)

Shopping Complexes: 10am-10pm daily

Government offices: 8am - 4.15pm (Mon to Fri)

8am - 12.45pm (Sat)

Lunch break: 12.45pm - 2pm (Mon to Thursday)

12.15pm - 2.45pm (Friday)

For States of Kedah and Terengganu the hours are

as follows:-

Government Office: 8am - 4.15pm( Sat to Wed )

8am - 12-45pm (Thursday)

Closed on Friday

For Kelantan , the hours are as follows:-

Government Offices: 8am - 4.45pm (Sun - Wed)

8am to 12.45pm (Thusday)

Closed on Fri and Sat.

Lunch Break: 12.45pm - 2.00pm

Public Holidays
With its multi-ethnic population, it is not surprising that almost every month sees a different festival. Some of these are declared as Public Holidays. As festivals vary from year to year, it is best to check the dates with the nearest Tourism Malaysia Office before you plan your trip. Designated public holiday are :

Schedule of Events

1 January : New Year's day

*: Thaipusam

*: Chinese New Year

*: Hari Raya Aidil Fitri

1 May : Labor Day

*: Wesak Day

5 June : The King's birthday

*: Awal Muharam

*: Hari Raya Aidil Adha

31 August : National Day

*: Deepavali

25 December: Christmas

* Dates vary from year to year

School Holidays
There are five term breaks in the year for schools throughout Malaysia. The term breaks vary slightly from state to state. However, they fall roughly during the later part of the months of January (1 week), March (2 weeks), May (3 weeks), August (1 week) , November (6 weeks).

Electric Supply
Electric supply is on a 240-volt 50 cycle system.

English Language newspapers are available i.e. The New Straits Times, The Sun, The Star, Business Times, Malay Mail, Daily Express, Sabah Daily News and Sarawak Tribune. International newspapers can be obtained at most bookshops and newstands.

Several dailies in other languages include Utusan Melayu, Berita Harian, Nanyang Siang Pau, Sin Jit Poh and Tamil Nesam. There are also weeklies such as the Leader and Straits Shipper.

Radio services are in Bahasa Malaysia, English, Chinese and Tamil.

There are 5 television stations with TV1 and TV2 being government networks while the other three are privately run. ( TV3, Metro Vision, NTV7 ).

In the event you need medical care, there are private clinics in most towns. It is a good idea to take out a medical insurance before you travel as Malaysia does not have reciprocal health service agreements with other nations.

For over-the-counter prescriptions, there are pharmacies and 'Chinese medical halls'.

Health Regulations
No vaccination is required for cholera and smallpox.

With a temperature that fluctuates little throughout the year, travel in is a pleasure. Average temperature is between 21c - 32c. Humidity is high. Rain tends to occur between November to February on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, on western Sarawak, and north-eastern Sabah. On the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia the rainy season is April to May and October to November.

Malaysia is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich mean Time (GMT) and 16 hours ahead of United States Pacific Standard Time.

To avoid "cultural offences", here are some tips:
  • Remove shoes when entering homes and places of worship.

  • Dress neatly in a suitable attire which covers arms and legs when visiting places of worship.

  • Handle food with your right hand.

  • Do not point your foot at someone.


Malaysia offers a wide range of accommodation, from international  standard hotels to economy class facilities like government rest houses and chalets.

The Ministry of Culture, Arts & Tourism
classified all hotels in the country according to the star rating systems( 1 to 5 stars ). This exercise was completed at the year end of 1996. In the first phase, 30 hotels in the Klang Valley drawn from Kuala Lumpur, Petaling and Shah Alam have been star rated.

Prices are subject to change but expect an average rate of RM250 per night for a room in an international standard hotel.

Economy class accomodation in a medium-range hotel would cost from RM175 per night, while in a budget hotel, it would cost approximately RM120.

Condominiums and apartments offer an alternative form of accommodation with timesharing becoming more popular in recent years.

All types of apartments, be it for single or family use, leisure or business purposes, can be found in Malaysia. A single room apartment costs between RM200-RM400.

Besides hotels, there are government rest houses - mostly old colonial buildings converted into visitors accommodation. Facilities are minimal but you will get a clean bed often with an attached bathroom. Cost is below RM100 per room. Bookings are made at the respective District Offices.

Chalet type accommodation are found mainly on island and beach resorts. Rates average about RM100 per night.

For those on a shoe-string budget, inexpensive accommodation can be found, especially along popular comfort- a bed and communal facilities.

They include accommodation in A-frame huts and youth hostels. Cost ranging from RM100 to RM25 per person.

Home stay programme is a new concept in Holiday accommodations. It provides the visitor an oppotunity to stay with a Malaysian family and experience firsthand the local culture and way of life. Further Information can be obtained from your nearest Tourism Malaysia office or travel agent.

Whether you are in a hurry to get to your destination or you wish to take things leisurely, there's a choice of travel to suit your mood.

The new KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) was built in June 1998. The new airport at Sepang, about 40 minutes by car south of Kuala Lumpur, has one of the most sophisticated passenger facilities in the region after it started it's operation.

Malaysia Airlines, the national carrier, currently flies to 112 destinations worldwide. There is also a small but growing number of domestic airlines serving popular tourist destinations such as Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Terengganu, Pulau Tioman , Pulau perhentian, Pulau Pangkor,

Taman Negara, Kuantan, Ipoh, Penang, Malacca and Pulau Langkawi. These airlines include Pelangi Air, Berjaya Air and Mofaz Air. In addition, the following international airlines also fly to

  • Aeroflot Soviet Airlines

  • Air India

  • Air Lanka

  • Air Mauritius

  • Air Vietnam

  • Alia/Royal Jordanian Airlines

  • All Nippon Airlines

  • Bangladesh Biman

  • British Airways

  • Cathay Pacific Airways

  • China Airlines

  • China Southern Airlines

  • Eva Airways Corporation

  • Garuda Indonesia

  • Gulf Air

  • Indian Airline

  • Iran Air

  • Japan Airlines

  • Korean Airlines

  • Lufthansa German Airlines

  • Middle East Airlines

  • Northwest Airlines(New airline)

  • Pakistan Airlines

  • Philippine Airlines

  • Royal Brunei Airlines

  • Royal Dutch Airlines

  • Saudi Arabian Airlines

  • Thai International

  • United Arab Emirates Airlines(New airline)

  • Uzbekistan Airlines

  • Virgin Atlantic Airways

  • Yunan Airlines

By rail
Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTM) or Malayan Railways has impressive rail network that stretches from north to south and east to west in Peninsular Malaysia.

The KTM Railpass has all the benefits of first - class travel , but at economy rates. Railpass holders are allowed travel.unlimited travel on any passenger train in Malaysia and Singapore for the duration of the railpass. The prices for adults is US$55 for 10 days and US$120 for 30 days. For children between 4 and 12 years old, the railpass is US$28 (10 days) and US$60 (30 days).

For only US$32, youths ( not Malaysians or Singaporeans ) Below the age of 30 holding ISIC, YIEE Card or Youth Hostel Card can benefit from unlimited 7 days pass on KTM services. The Eurotrain Explorer Pass - Malaysia is valid for second or economy class travel on all KTM services in Peninsular Malaysia (including Singapore).To know more check out KTMB's website.

A luxury train service, the Eastern and the Oriental Express, which is modelled after the world - renowned Orient Express, is available too. The 41-hour round trip journey makes its route from Singapore, through Kuala Lumpur before going up north to Bangkok And then back again.

The recently introduced KTM commuter service has speedy trains plying between Kuala Lumpur and towns in its vicinity i.e.

Rawang, Seremban and Port Klang.

There are also two new Light Rail Transit( LRT ) operators- Star-LRT and Putra-LRT. They operate only in the city. Later there will be a different kind of train called ERL linking Kuala Lumpur

International Airport and the new  Central Railway Station in K .Lumpur .

The choice of masses, air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses are available from Kuala Lumpur to other towns in Peninsular Malaysia.

Buses plying within towns and cities charge according to the distance covered. Now the mini-buses are replaced by the Intrakota buses. They charge a standard fare of 90 cents to any destination within their routes.

Limousines services are available from the airport to hotels in the city. To hire one, please enquire at the taxi counter.

Interstate taxis are both inexpensive and fast to travel from one place to another. The taxi stand in Kuala Lumpur is located on the level 2 of the Pudu Raya Bus Terminal. Fares for interstate taxis are fixed. Meters are not used.
City taxis are metered. In Kuala Lumpur taxis are easily recognizable by their yellow and black colour or the new red and white colour.

Taxi fares are calculated according to metres. The flagged down fare is RM2.00 for the first two kilometres and 10 sen for every 200m there after.

There is no extra cost for air-conditioned taxis. A 50% surcharge on the fare from midnight to 6 am is normal.

Satay. The popular dish of Malaysia. Bite-sized pieces of beef, mutton or chicken are marinated in spices, then skewered through thin bamboo strips, and barbecued over charcoal fire. Satay is served with ketupat (rice cake) and a raw salad of cucumber, pineapple and onions. Sweet spicy peanut gravy accompanies the dish.

Nasi Lemak. Rice cooked in coconut milk. Serves with ikan bilis (anchovies), sambal , boiled egg, fries peanuts and cucumber slices. This is also a popular breakfast dish.

Roti Canai. It's the all-time breakfast favourite of Malaysians. Made from wheat-flour dough, sometimes beaten egg and diced onions are incorporated to result in a crispier pancake.

Nasi Dagang. A popular breakfast dish in Kelantan and Terengganu. Consists of Bastari rice and fish curry.

Nasi Goreng. Fried rice. A complete dish in itself with bits of meat, prawns, egg and vegetables.

Nasi Kandar. So named because the hawkers in Penang, years ago, carried pots of rice and curry balanced on both of a pole. The dish consists of meat, chicken , fish and vegetables. Try it next time when you are in Penang.

Hokkien Mee. A traditional favourite of the Chinese. This is thick yellow noodles cooked with prawns, squids and bean sprout and flavoured heavily with soy sauce.

Murtabak. Roti Canai stuffed with a mixture if minced beef, egg and onion. Served with curry.

Nasi Ulam. It is a dish that is usually prepared during the fasting month of Ramadan, but in the states of Kelantan and Terengganu, it can be found at all times..

Rendang. A type of meat dish peparation which takes hour to prepare. Meat, coconut milk, chillies , onions and spices such as cinnamon, cloves, coriander and nutmeg are cooked over low heat. Result? Tasty, moist tender meat with subtle sweetness. Eaten with rice, ketupat (rice cake) or lemang (glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk).

Thosai. A light pancake made from rice flour. It is sometimes stuffed with potato and mixed vegetables. Thosai is served with coconut chutney and lentil curry.

Wantan Mee. Noodles served in a soup with prawn dumplings and roast pork. This is one of my favourite too.

Fast Food. American fast food outlets have sprung up in the last decade and can be found alomost in every town. Among them are Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald,s ,

A&W and Pizza Hut, to name a few.

Rojak. Salad of pineapple, cucumber, beancurd, prawn fritters and boiled egg served with peanut sauce.

Char Kway Teow. Flat rice noodles stir-fried with minced garlic, fresh prawns , bean sprouts, cockles and eggs, seasoned with soy sauce and chilli paste.

Chicken Rice. There are several variations of chicken rice but the most popular kind is the Hainanese chicken rice. The chicken is moist and tender. Served with rice which have been cooked in chicken stock. The dish is livened up with garlic/chilli sauce, cucumber slices and coriander leaves.

Curry Laksa. Noodle dish served in curry. Pieces of boiled chicken, cockles, taufoo and bean sprouts are added to the dish.

Fried Noodles. Noodles are similar to pasta, expect that it is made out of rice flour. There are several different variations of preparing a noodle dish. It can, for example, be cooked according to Malay-style, Chines-style, Indian Muslim-style and also vegetarian style.

Sweet Temptation. Cek Mek Molek, Buah Melaka, tepong pelita, Kuih Lapis , Ais Kacang( Try this out when you're in Malaysia) , Cendol , Sago Gula melaka, Len Chee Kang - delightful desserts worth trying.

Exotic names for sweet delicacies. Most of these cakes are prepared from sugar, mixed with eggs, flour or glutinous rice and coconut milk. They can be found especially during the fasting month of Ramadan. Sold at roadside stalls, and sometimes served as desserts in restaurants.

A wide variety of entertainment can be found in the cities. Nightclubs , karauke (sing-along) lounges, discotheques, pubs, and cineplexes are available

There are discotheques in hotels which set the pace for a lively evening but there are also several independently - operated ones with the latest in laser displays, lighting and music. Discotheques are usually packed after 10pm and pulsate with activity on Fridays , Saturdays, and eves of public holidays.

Karaoke Lounges
Karaoke lounges are Japanese inspired entertainment lounges. Large video screens display lyrics to musical accompaniment as patrons are encouraged to sing along. Some of the outlets even conduct regular karaoke singing contests for their patrons. Cocktails and light snacks are served at these lounges.

Pubs and bars offer a relaxed mood with light music, drinks and snacks. Most pubs are open from late afternoon/evening onwards and close about midnight.

Nightclubs can be western or Chinese-inspired. Chinese-inspired nightclubs are more casual with much dining, drinking and a noisy party atmosphere. Western-influenced nightclubs are generally more formal with dinner-dance set-up with light music.

Supper Clubs
These combine fine dining and live entertainment, sometimes with international stars. A favourite with the trendy set, they close well at midnight.

Live theatre performances by Malaysians artists are becoming popular with the local crowd. These are performed In English and in local languages. Please check the newspaper for such events.

Cinemas and Cineplexes
Almost every town in the country boasts of a cinema or a cineplex. They show a range of movies in accordance of the multicultural composition of the local population.

Cultural Shows
In major towns, you can take a City Night Tour which, among other thing, will enable you to have typical Malaysian meal before you settle down to watch a cultural show. Please enquire at your hotel or your travel agent for details of such cultural performances at various spots around the city.

Pasar Malam
Pasar Malam are night markets which offer an insight into the range of local food , fruits, vegetables , food tidbits, trinkets, cassettes, fabrics and even bedding and furniture. With bright lights, attractively-laden stalls and lively trading activities they bring on a unique facet of the Malaysia lifestyle . Try bargaining skills when you make any purchase here.

Once you have overcome your jet-lag fatigue, step into the heart of Malaysia- the citizens of country. You should be pleasantly surprised at the warmth of Malaysian. For deeply entrenched within each of the different race is the engaging charm and traditional hospitality which the country is renowned for.

Malaysians enjoy meeting people from other lands. So, do go right ahead and strike up a conversation. After all, the whole point of travelling is to know other cultures.

When greeting a Muslim, offer your right hand then bring it towards you, fingertips lightly touching your heart. This is the traditional Salam or greeting of acceptance. Hindus greet with a Namaste (in Hindi) or Vanakam (in Tamil). Both palms are brought together as in prayer at level. With a Chinese , you may shake hands. If you are really unsure about all the different forms of greetings, just smile and nod your head slightly when introduced. When giving or receiving money/gifts/from a Malaysian, do so with your right hand.

'Open House'. A feature peculiar only in this part of the world. Look up the Malaysian calendar. If it is Hari Raya, Chinese New year , Deepavali or Christmas during your stay in Malaysia, you should be received into the homes of the people who celebrate the festival. Enquire from your hotel for home visits during these festivals.

So, That's I can tell you about Malaysia. Have a nice tour.

Saturday, July 5, 2008






Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

France, lavender field


France, Montblanc




Full-moon above alps

Notre Dame, Paris, France


Paris, France, At Night

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